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Having had a brilliant start to the year, Novak Djokovic faded in mid season as he failed to make the kind of impact he did have in Melbourne. At the Rogers Cup last week, Novak retained his title, but that could be construed as a false awakening, as most of the top players were already out of the event. Now in Cincinnati, Novak is back and will be hoping to go one better than last year, having lost in the final.
At the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Djokovic appeared to be back. Djokovic's backhand looked flawless for the first time since the Aussie Open in January, as the Djoker dominated and waltzed to victory. That could however be a case of “A big fish in a small pond”, as most of the top players were either not playing in the event or were eliminated early. And although his performance in the final was top draw, he must not dig too deep into it as Richard Gasquet is no where near the likes of the players that he will have to battle here in Cincinnati.
Last year when the Serb had come into the event, he was the man to beat. Interestingly, things have changed a lot over a season, as Djokovic has not been able to replicate his last season’s performance in the ongoing season. In fact, the Serbian looked way ahead of his opponents in the last season, but he is struggling to find that form this year. Though, he is not in the devastating form of last season where the Serb had last only two matches until this point of the season, the Serbian still has a stellar 50-9 win-loss record with three titles in his kitty.
On the other end of court – Roger Federer has himself had a fine tournament himself. He's made his way into the final not having dropped a single set. The Swiss is undoubtedly back to his best, having won Wimbledon and then the silver at the recently concluded Olympics.
Having had to settle for silver at the London Olympics as Andy Murray clinched gold, Federer looked weary and spent. Last week Roger skipped the Rogers Cup and with it and gained some much needed rest. It was a calculated move as the Swiss knew he would not surrender his World No.1 ranking no matter what happened. Now here in Cincinnati, Roger starts his build up to the US Open, aiming to win it for the sixth time in his illustrious career.
Roger will be looking to add to his four crowns here in Cincinnati and certainly likes the hard courts of the Linder Family Tennis Center. His win-loss record is at 51-7 this year.
These two modern tennis greats have met each other a massive 27 times, and the Swiss is marginally at 15 to 12. Though in their last eight duels, it has been the Serb who has been dominant with six wins out of the last eight.
TennisEarth picks a fiercely fought win for Novak Djokovic in this one.
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